Brute Ethics





Animal Ethics Encyclopedia

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A glossary of relevant terms not necessarily found in common dictionaries.

Animal Advocacy
Includes the often conflicting animal welfare, animal rights and animal liberation dispositions.
Ascribing human characteristics to non-humans, eg happy, jealous or neurotic personality attributes to animals, cars or computers.
The part of Earth where all living creatures are found. It extends upwards into the atmosphere and downwards into the lithosphere of rock.
Unwanted fish in the fishing industry. Bycatch on fishing vessels is discarded overboard.
The secondary or unused parts of a manufacturing process including waste after the primary product has been produced, eg male chicks in the poultry industry, bodies of skinned furbearers in the fur industry, guts, fish fins.
The working of the brain during mental processes like perception, thought, learning, decision making. You engage in cognition when you do arithmetic, perceive, imagine, learn, reason, make decisions, and so on.
A moral dilemma is when you must chose one of two equally disagreeable actions.
Belief maintained without reasoning or in the face of good reasoning to the contrary, eg religious dogma. Dogmatism, dogmatic - holding such beliefs.
Ethical dilemma
A choice between two courses that no matter which one you choose you will violate an ethical value or principle.
The pursuit of asking how should we live and act.
Completely destroy a species. Compare with extirpate.
Completely destroy a population of a species from a region. Compare with exterminate.
A domesticated animal living wild, that is without human assistance, such as a feral cat.
A unique group of animals distinguished by a backbone, hair and mammary glands, eg foxes, whales, humans and mice. The other animals with backbones but who are not mammals are fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds.
The study of ethical concepts and ideas.
Animal without a backbone but with an exterior shell or an interior hard part for body support, eg slug and snail on land and clam, mussel, squid and octopus at sea.
Moral Consideration
Giving thought about the moral status of other beings such that if they have moral status then we should give them moral rights.
Moral Duty
Obligation to treat something in a moral way. Can be direct and indirect. See Moral Duty.
Moral Status
The moral position or standing of one thing compared with something else, such as the moral status of animals compared with humans. Also called moral standing.
A procedure that interferes with the tissue or bone of an animal for non-therapeutic reasons, for example cutting off the tails of sheep, pigs and cattle. See Factory Farming.
Relating to ideas which set out how we ought to live and act morally. Two normative theories are Duty Ethics and Consequence Ethics.
Normative Theory
A normative theory tells you how things ought to be; for example, people ought to treat animals with compassion. By contrast, a descriptive theory describes how things are; for example, people harm most animals.
In ethics, a command telling you what you should do, eg be good to animals.
Protection or privileges conferred on someone.
Repetitive actions like pacing up and down (cats), rocking back and forth (primates), neck weaving (horses), tongue-rolling (calves) and bar-biting (pigs). Displayed by imprisoned animals, as at factory farms or zoos, as they try to cope with stress, frustration, boredom, etc and brought on by a lack of a stimulating environment.
Applying to everyone, everywhere and for all time, as in universal rights.
Animals with backbones, specifically fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds. Vertebrates constitute a tiny fraction, maybe about two percent of species, of the animal kingdom.

© 2004 Roger Panaman All rights reserved